Top five ways to grow your business in 2015
Thinking long term
If you are like most business leaders, then growing your business is always a top priority. With the New Year in full swing, it is the perfect time to start planning for how that growth will manifest. Logic tell us that in order to grow our business financially we need to focus on sales and revenue—following a transactional business model; this may help short term, but what about long term? In order to grow your business this year and keep it growing for the long haul, there are many non-traditional ways of thinking that will help.
- Focus on Your Customers
In my experience, I find that focusing on the customer’s business growth is the single most important factor in making my business profitable. If I can help my customer’s businesses grow by streamlining their workload and allowing them to free up time for their staff to focus on revenue-generating tasks, it helps their business grow, which in turn helps my business grow. For example, one of my medical transcription clients was able to increase her patient intake by two to three patients per day simply by outsourcing her transcription needs to my company. She now has time to see more patients instead of typing her patient’s notes herself.
When customers see that what you offer them helps to grow their business, they’re more apt to continue to invest in your business. According to the Small Business Administration, national studies report that the cost of retaining an existing customer is only about 10 percent of the acquisition cost, and we all know that the acquisition cost of gaining new clients can be very expensive. This is all the more reason for business leaders to focus on growing their customer’s business first and letting the rest fall in place.
- Communicate Often
It is imperative that you communicate with your customer’s on a regular basis to understand how your products or services are (or are not) working for them. It is also important to learn how your business can improve its products or services offerings. Maybe your customer would like a faster turnaround on deliverables—asking your customer what your business can do to improve results for their business is key.
- Identify Industry Gaps
Another way to grow your customer’s business is to stay on top of their industry happenings. Learning what gaps might exist in their industry will help you learn what is “missing” and allow your business to help “fill in the gaps” for them. I learned early on that the medical field was adopting technology more readily to store its data so I quickly offered my medical customer’s an online platform that allows them to access patient reports anytime and anywhere, while still being completely HIPAA-complaint. If I hadn’t taken the time to follow the industry, I would have missed out on this opportunity for business growth.
- Create a Culture of Appreciation
As business leaders, we are responsible for many things within our company, from making important decisions about service/product offerings to budgeting and staffing. But none of those responsibilities can be executed effectively without establishing a proper company culture. As leaders, we are looked upon to guide and empower our staff and have a successful business. One of the best ways we can do that is by creating an appreciative business culture.
Doing things like establishing eye contact, using appropriate touch like handshakes or a pat on the back, and saying “thank you” tells your employees they are valued. A culture of appreciation expands energy, expresses respect for colleagues, elevates confidence in staff and stakeholders, and lets them know they matter, belong, and are respected. Employees and colleagues who know that they contribute to the success of the business and are appreciated for it are much more motivated to work harder for you and your company.
- Perform Outstanding Customer Service
Everyone says they have the best customer service in the industry, but do they really?? We take pride in giving our customers the best service I know how by doing the following:
- We answer 99 percent of our incoming calls and avoid letting an automated voice answer the phone. This way potential and existing customers can get a human being to either help them immediately or transfer them to the right person.
- We return calls and emails after hours and on weekends routinely so that our clients aren’t sitting around wondering when they will get the assistance they need. This shows our customers that we are vested in their success.
We win clients now because of these little, but very important, customer service details that many other companies overlooked.
With regular communication, honesty and systemization, 2015 might be your year of prosperity.